Important Dates in the History of the UW Law School

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1848    Law Department authorized in University charter

1868    Law Department opens with the admission of 15 students for a one year course of study (12   graduated)  Classes held in State Capitol

1875    First African-American student, William Noland, enrolled

1885    First female graduate, Belle Case La Follette

1889    Law Department becomes the College of Law and a second year added to the curriculum

1892    First African-American graduate, William Green

1893    First Law Building opens on Bascom Hill

1895    Third year added to curriculum

1896    Entrance requirements increased to coincide with those for undergraduates

1900    Law School becomes a Charter Member of the Association of American Law Schools

1903    Dean Harry S. Richards becomes Dean

1904    First Native American student, T. L. St. Germain, enrolled

1905    Entrance requirements increased to require completion of at least one year of college

1907    Prof. Eugene Gilmore drafts the Public Utilities Bill for the Wisconsin Legislature.  School requires two years of college for entrance

1908    Order of Coif chapter established

1909    College of Law becomes the Law School

1911    Prof. Oliver Rundell undertakes a study of the administration of criminal justice, one of the first "law in action" studies

1920    Wisconsin Law Review established.  First Native American graduate: E. Ward Winton

1920s   Six months practice experience required for graduation

1922    Prof. William Rice offers one of the first labor law courses in the country

1928    Prof. Ray Brown completes a groundbreaking study of the problems of Native Americans

1929   Three years of college now required for admission to Law School.

1930s   "Law and Society" courses appear, evidence of the School's interpretation of the Wisconsin Idea

1930s   Law faculty and economics faculty cooperate to create the first workers’ compensation system in the nation

1930s    Prof. J. Willard Hurst begins research and teaching in Legal History

1930    Law School takes over the Legal Aid Society from the Dane County Bar Association

1932    Dean Lloyd Garrison arrives, grandson of William Lloyd Garrison, the abolitionist

1933    Wisconsin Law Alumni Association formed

1939    "Old" Library wing added to the original Law building

1942    John Steuart Curry, UW Artist-in-Residence, paints the mural "Freeing of the Slaves," now located in the Quarles & Brady Reading Room

1950    Prof. Charles Bunn is principal draftsperson of the Uniform Commercial Code, eventually adopted by all states

1950s    Continuing Legal Education in Wisconsin established to provide continued instruction to the practicing bar

1960s    Prof. Jacob Beuscher conducts his groundbreaking research and legislative drafting in the area of water law and land-use in small Wisconsin communities

1962    Gargoyle survives demolition of original law building and is elevated to icon status by Dean George Young

1963    Second law building completed on Bascom Hill

1967    Legal Education Opportunities Program (LEO) is established to enhance diversity in the legal profession

1968    Prof. Stuart Gullickson arrives to direct the General Practice Course, successor to the Summer Problems Course. Course becomes a principal method of teaching students the practical skills necessary for careers in law

1969    Law faculty serves on the "Committee of 30," serving as fact-finders during the student unrest of the period

1970s    William H. Hastie Fellowship program established to encourage minority lawyers to earn advanced degrees to become law professors

1970s     Clinical legal education blossoms: clinics evolve from ad hoc arrangements to formal programs, often connected to specific academic courses, with full-time supervising lawyers

1978    Modest addition to the Law Library

1980s    Institute for Legal Studies (research) and East Asian Legal Studies Center (international law) come to fruition

1994    Construction begins on $16.5 million addition and remodeling project. Completed in the fall of 1996, wins award for design from the American Institute of Architects, Wisconsin Chapter

1997    Dean Kenneth B. Davis, Jr. becomes the 12th Dean of the Law School

2000    First Hispanic female professor, Pilar Ossorio

2011    Dean Margaret Raymond becomes the 13th Dean of the Law School and the first female to hold the position

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